Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sociocultural Aspects of Schooling for ELs

When working with students who are English Learners, there can be a struggle in communicating what is being asked of them and what will be assessed.  If the directions to a task are too complicated, the challenge may not be the task but understanding what the question is asking.  In order to remedy this, students will be given "toolkits."  These are booklets with definitions to subject area vocabulary, complete with examples and varying definitions for the students to fill out.  Students will be able to customize their toolkits based on their own understandings and use them on assessments.  Through this process students will be able to build up their academic vocabulary, learn to create usable definitions for their own thinking process, and focus on learning the skills necessary for a subject rather than the exact definitions for varying words.  This will also get students in the habit of creating their own toolkits for vocabulary for other classes.  They will be able to tie formal definitions, examples and any additional notes to help them with their individual learning needs.

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